New York Knicks'  Wallace jokes around on the bench in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden in New York

Report: Pistons will hire Rasheed Wallace as assistant coach


Rasheed Wallace’s temper distracted from the rest of his game. Few saw his advanced post moves, perfect defensive positioning (Game 5 of the 2005 Finals aside) and deft passing.

Rather, most just focused on the technical fouls – though, to be fair, there were a lot of technical fouls.

But Pistons general manager Joe Dumars and new Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks, who coached Wallace in Portland, saw the wise side of Sheed.

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

It hasn’t been announced, but former Piston Rasheed Wallace will join the Pistons’ coaching staff this season.

Wallace strolled into the Amway Center wearing a polo shirt with the Pistons’ team logo on Monday

The Pistons are playing summer league in Orlando, where Wallace was on the Pistons sideline today talking with the team’s young players during their game against the Celtics. I have zero doubt he can dispense helpful advice in that role.

But being an NBA assistant coach is a ton of work, and though Dumars has said he discussed the grind with Wallace, there’s no way of knowing how Wallace will handle it throughout an 82-game season. Going from playing to coaching is an adjustment, and Sheed must also learn how his role in the locker room will change.

At least he’ll be going through this process as an assistant for a team with only playoff aspirations, not in the pressure-packed situation of being the head coach of a contender, like his Knicks teammate last season is doing.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.